At 12 midnight, I was zipping my backpack and nudging my sleeping friend, SZ, to wake up. We were to meet my other friend and former roommate, Wwo, at NAIA Terminal 3, to pick up his other friend XX, who’s arriving from place XY for the trip.
We arrived at Genesis Transport Cubao station at around 2 a.m. and were not surprised by the number of people anticipating every bus arrival. It was the sight of a Lady Gaga concert re-run and tickets were going fast. We stood in queue, chatting and thinking of the kilos of Durian and Mangosteen inside XX’s bag. He took so much with him from XY place we could easily make a fruit stand and sell enough fruits for our bus tickets. At 3 a.m., as scheduled, our bus arrived and we were the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th to be called.
As royalties of travel cramming, we did not manage to get the sosyal bus. Instead, we had the regular air-conditioned bus. The seats were comfortable enough, the aircon cold enough. I was enjoying my position, I was REM-ing ten minutes after.
I woke up with my 4 a.m. daily prayer alarm, which I know was not the first ring so it may have woken all the passengers and the driver up. My cellphone alarm is honestly so loud, our househelper uses it to wake her up. She sleeps in the first floor of our house. I sleep on the second.
After prayer, I dozed off again and woke up at 7 a.m. with SZ’s silent curse-muttering. Excrement of a living creature. She remarked how beautiful the view was and hated to have missed a good shot. She still took some photos and I looked around the bus for any signs of life. Zero. It seemed like everyone was back to dreaming after my scandalous alarm.
Hot Chicks was on. But I was too tired to absorb anything. Wwo and XX paid for our fare because we were sleeping when the conductor ticketed us.
The bus trudged along the steep and often tricky highways of Sierra Madre. All I could say for now is – sleeping along Sierra Madre is niiiice.
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